Big protests across Myanmar as UN expert fears violence

first_img TAGS  WhatsApp Facebook Previous articleVELO3D nomme Jon Porter pour diriger le développement des opérations commerciales dans toute l’EuropeNext articleJonathan Quick makes 28 saves, Kings blank Wild 4-0 Digital AIM Web Support Big protests across Myanmar as UN expert fears violence Facebook By Digital AIM Web Support – February 17, 2021 Twitter Twitter Local NewsWorld News Pinterest WhatsApp Pinterestlast_img read more

Read More

Council urged to address ‘serious dangers’ at unguarded quarry

first_img Pinterest DL Debate – 24/05/21 Twitter Google+ Council urged to address ‘serious dangers’ at unguarded quarry News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic AudioHomepage BannerNews Pinterest Facebook Google+ Facebookcenter_img WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Donegal County Council has been urged to address the serious dangers surrounding an unguarded water-filled quarry in Porthall.Councillor Gerry Crawford raised concerns over inadequate signing, warning of the dangers of the disused quarry and the lack of proper crash barriers surrounding the site.He says the local authority must take urgent action before it is too late:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/crawfoghjghjghrd1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA By News Highland – October 5, 2018 Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Previous articleNew law on Unfair Trading Practices to give farmers stronger voiceNext articleNumber of people awaiting admission to LUH drops dramatically News Highland Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programmelast_img read more

Read More

NFF Gets Wish as CAF Notify Libya of Change in Venue,…

first_imgThe Libyan Football Federation (LFF) has announced that they have been notified by the Confederation of African Football that the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria will no longer be held at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium on October 12.The matchday three fixture in Group E of the AFCON qualifiers is now scheduled to take place at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Saturday, October 13.As previously reported by allnigeriasoccer.com, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr expressed his concerns about the Ahmadu Bello Stadium when he met with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) during The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018 in London on Monday, September 24. The German added that the pitch was not up to standard and his players would not be comfortable playing on the turf.It is understood that taking the game to Kaduna earlier was a political move by the NFF chiefs which has backfired.It would be recalled that CAF slammed Nigeria with a $5,000 fine for allowing excess spectators at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium for an AFCON qualifier against Egypt in March 2016.Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has affirmed that he cannot afford to take his team’s forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifies against Libya with levity because qualifying the competition could determine his future with Nigeria’s national team.With days ticking away towards the first leg of a double-clash with Libya in the next stage of the AFCON 2019 qualifiers, Rohr said he needs all his key players for the game on October 12, because he has to win and put the qualification campaign on a sound footing.Footballlive.ng can report that the Franco-German gaffer hinted that he will not invite any untested player for the home and away fixtures against Libya, as he cannot afford to experiment during the forthcoming games.Meanwhile, Rohr has stressed that the Eagles will go out full blast against Libya both home and away to secure six points and stand a stronger chance of qualifying for AFCON 2019 in Cameroon.He admitted that Libya have a formidable team that can surprise any opponent if underrated, hence his target to beat them in Nigeria and possibly secures a point in Tunisia.The former Bordeaux of France tactician added that all his players are well aware of the task ahead and are happy that they have admitted that they cannot afford to miss AFCON 2019, haven failed to qualify for the past two previous editions in 2015 and 2017.Rohr stated: “You know that qualifying for AFCON will help me keep my job, so I will not take chances.“Only players that are ready to give me 100 per cent at the field of play I will use against Libya.“There will be no time for experiment and only the best I will use for the match.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Read More

Juvenile – Post-Race Interview Transcript – Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016

first_imgJohn OxleyMark CasseJulien LeparouxPress ConferenceTHE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was Classic Empire, and we’ll be joined shortly by John Oxley and Julien Leparoux, but right now we’ve got winning trainer Mark Casse who is short on time because he has another nice horse coming up shortly on the card. Mark, congratulations, thanks for joining us here. You have not been shy about your confidence in Classic Empire in the last few weeks. Just tell us about that confidence that you’ve had and what you saw today in this race?MARK CASSE: Well, you know what? Couple things amaze me about this horse was when he won the Bashford Manor at Churchill in June, I guess, I’ve been training for 37 years, I thought it was the most impressive 2-year-old winner that I’d ever trained. I went into the Hopeful after Pretty City Dancer won the Spinaway, and these two had trained together. I knew that he was superior to her. And I’m normally not a cocky guy, and this stopped me again for a couple years, but I said to a few people that day, we’re going to win the Hopeful today, it’s just a matter of how far.Then of course he put me back into reality and put me — so I’m not going to say that again for a few more years. But what amazes me is this horse’s ability to have such a high cruising speed. They were flying along, and Julien said Syndergaard, Todd’s horse, is a fast horse, and he said Johnny was letting his horse run and he was just looking at him like, okay, when we going to go? So I don’t know. All week long Dale Romans has said we were going to run 1, 2, him and I, and I said, okay, I’m just glad I was 1.THE MODERATOR: Mr. Oxley, congratulations to you. Can we just get your feelings in the aftermath of a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win?JOHN OXLEY: This is unbelievable. It’s what we’ve been hoping for for many years now, a horse that might replace Monarchos, whom we just lost. This horse is exceptional. I love him, but even more importantly, the jockey, Julien Leparoux, what a ride. Fantastic. Just perfect. It was flawless, and the team behind him, Mark Casse, Norman Casse, the entire organization works for each other. Also, to my sweet wife, Debbie, she brings luck to the team.Q. This horse obviously had some issues breaking from the gate in several consecutive starts. Could you talk about what you did to correct that? Obviously it was a very, very top training job there.MARK CASSE: You know, and maybe that’s another thing that makes this so special. He hasn’t necessarily been easy. He’s an extremely, extremely smart horse, and he tends to see things that maybe others don’t, and you never know what he’s going to kind of do. But we added blinkers. We had actually wanted — we thought after his first two performances where he ran really great, it would have been nice to put some blinkers on him. But normally they don’t allow you to put blinkers on horses that are winning. So after the Hopeful, Norman and I were watching him cool out, and we looked at each other and said I think we can put blinkers on him now.Julien was still out, and he was just coming back off his wrist injury, and that evening I called him and I said, Julien, I have a horse I want you to work out of the gate tomorrow, do you think you can come? And he said, oh, sure. It was a joke.Julien’s been a big, big part of this horse’s training as well.THE MODERATOR: Julien, you’ve been aboard for all of Classic Empire’s wins, not the day that we’re talking about where there were the antics out of the gate, but just talk about this effort today and how professional he was relative to some of what we’ve seen on tape before?JULIEN LEPAROUX: Well, I think you can see there is a big, big difference since the blinkers are on. He’s way more focused. The first two starts he was not breaking sharp from the gate. Since we put blinkers, I mean, he’s been pretty mean to race from the beginning. It’s a big change, and he’s a very, very nice horse. We go fast, but you don’t feel like you go fast on him, so looking forward for next year for sure.Q. Tell us more about this trip today?JULIEN LEPAROUX: Oh, we had a perfect trip. I wanted to break good, which we did. And after that, just sit there and tried to get going early. That’s it.MARK CASSE: I kind of have to watch the break like this. But I just wanted to tell you, I’m voting for him as champion 2-year-old, if anybody’s wondering. Of course I don’t get a vote.JOHN OXLEY: Hey, I’ll vote for that.JULIEN LEPAROUX: Me too.MARK CASSE: There we go.THE MODERATOR: When we get to this point with an impressive juvenile winner, we have to ask about the spring and the potential for the Classics. Your thoughts on a path to get there and what you’re thinking now? It’s a little early, but we’re dying to know.MARK CASSE: I’m just thinking I’m happy the day’s over with. It went well. That’s something that Mr. Oxley and I will talk about. We are a team. He has thoughts, I have thoughts. We’ll talk about it, and we’ll come up with a game plan. Obviously our goal is the first Saturday in May.Q. This team we’ve seen many times before with wonderful colts. And I wonder if you’d take us through how you first found this colt?MARK CASSE: Well, we bought him as a yearling. I think Mr. Oxley had said to me — he always likes to buy nice colts. Well, I think this year we were buying — no, we bought a few fillies. Then we go through and we give him kind of a list, and he goes around with us and he said, oh, I love this one. He wasn’t cheap. But he was well worth it.Q. I can tell you’re confident and how much you love the horse. Watching that wonderful stretch duel and knowing that you and Dale were talking it’s going to be one of you, did you feel I’ve got this? Could you take us through what’s going through your head watching that? Thank you again, and congratulations.MARK CASSE: Well, I thought at the top of the lane I was a little worried because he’d never really opened up before too much, so I’m like, well, maybe. I don’t know how much I want him to open up. Then I thought, well, he’s going to win by a couple lengths, and then towards about 16th pole I may have said a bad word because I could see that horse coming. You know, we had run second with Valadorna in the Filly race, and she just couldn’t get up. I’m like, oh, now it’s the opposite way. But I’m just proud of how both of them ran today. More importantly, he says he just comes along for the ride. But he fuels the ride. So he’s not — not only is he a great owner, but both him and Debbie are great friends of ours.Q. Julien, on paper there was a lot of speed, early speed signed up in this race. Were you surprised, and were you trying to break that alertly and that quickly given the fact that it looked like there was so much speed? And he has shown the ability to race.JULIEN LEPAROUX: No, not really. I didn’t expect to be where I was, to be honest. No, no, my goal was inside of me and outside of me was a lot of speed, so I had to break at least good and ask him away from them. I really thought they were actually going to clear me and maybe sit third or fourth, but in the first turn I was very, very happy how I was, that’s for sure, yeah.Q. Were you surprised that there was only Syndergaard up front?JULIEN LEPAROUX: Yes, but like Classic Empire, when he breaks, he’s got speed, too, so I knew he was going to put me in the race. I was a little surprised the other one didn’t ask a little bit more to get there. So, like I said, in the first turn I was very happy that I was by myself pretty good being second.MARK CASSE: They were skipping along pretty good.JULIEN LEPAROUX: Yeah.Q. The horse on paper looked like he was going to —JOHN OXLEY: Yeah, he broke so good today that I actually lost him for a second. I said, did he come out? And then I was like, oh, there he is. So I know I was surprised.He broke so good that I felt like I was on board. But I tell you, when we got into that first turn and he was in a perfect spot, I jumped off (laughing).Q. Your thoughts about the spring, having been through a spring like that with Monarchos, and the thoughts you’ll be having?JOHN OXLEY: Winter’s coming up first, but I like snow, but I’m in Florida, so I never get it. But I love the spring, and had a good feeling once spring in the air. So I love spring and I love the journey up to the Triple Crown races. Each one will be a wonderful goal and a wonderful stop we hope. And we hope the good fortune lasts.Q. Talk about the attributes of this colt looking ahead to next year what would make you excited about this horse at races like Churchill Downs?MARK CASSE: He’s extremely smart. A lot of horses were getting warm — well, a lot of horses got warm late, but he just walks around and doesn’t really care. That’s always a nice thing to have in a Derby horse. He showed some speed today, but he’ll also rate.JULIEN LEPAROUX: Yeah, I asked him away from there, but he’s pretty easy to rate, too, if you have to.FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sportslast_img read more

Read More

Travel chaos at US airports

first_imgLos Angeles International Airport – the world’s 8th largest – was gridlocked Sunday night by thousands of angry demonstrators protesting over President Trump’s ban on nationals of seven countries.The first demonstrations erupted on Saturday the day after Trump signed the order banning travel to the U.S. by citizens of Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran and Somalia. At Los Angeles International Airport many intending passengers were forced to abandon their taxis or buses and walk to the terminal.Rental car company buses took over 90 minutes – instead of 15 – to get to the airport. Many rental car customers returning their cars opted to walk the 30 minutes to the airport.The traffic gridlock also trapped airline crews with many flights delayed because of their late arrival.The demonstrators were peaceful but extremely noisy. Police was equipped with riot gear but took no action.Many of the signs read “We are all immigrants in America” and Let them go” referring to those travellers who were on route to the US when the ban was implemented. Other signs suggested the ban was reminiscent of the Nazi regime of the 1930s and labelled Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who has just been appointed the Security Council a Nazi.On Saturday, a Federal Judge in New York issued an order blocking the government from deporting passengers with valid visas who arrived after the travel ban was implemented.However, confusion remains on the temporary ban, while the courts of Virginia, Washington and Massachusetts took similar action.A solution in the courts may take weeks to resolve commentators suggest. According to Associated Press Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, said on Sunday that the Trump’s measures were “rushed, chaotic, cruel and oblivious to the realities” of security. They had, he added, ushered in “a dark moment in U.S. history.”Airlines were warning passengers to get to the airport early during Sunday afternoon but not all could be contacted.Demonstrators say the campaign of disruption will last 30 days and impact other international airports such as San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco.last_img read more

Read More

Visayan fans stunned by Pacquiao loss to Horn

first_imgMOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Rushton’s 10-point plan bears fruit “Walay lami kay pildi si Pacman,” he said.(“I’m disheartened because Pacquiao lost.”)Alagadmo was all for a rematch.“Mas nice kung magrematch sila para maila kung kinday hawud sa ring,” he said.(“It would be nice if they would have a rematch so we would know who is really better in the ring.”)Rhudy Mendoza, 38, said, however, said he wouldn’t want to see a rematch.“Absolutely, I prefer Pacman-Mayweather,” he said. “That fight will be exciting than this.”Rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of Boholano fans watching the bout.At least 100 residents in this city flocked to the corner of Maria Clara Street and CPG Avenue to watch the fight for free.Electronics shops like Geresonic and Diccion provided small TV screens for a live airing of the fight. Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Fans react to Manny Pacquiao’s upset loss to Jeff Horn1.4K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Other spectators at the same venue were so shocked that they stood still for a moment after the match.“This is a nightmare for us Pacquiao fans,” Lemuel Mortes said.Despite of the stunning loss, they said they would remain Pacquiao fans.Mortes said, however, that would be up to the boxer and senator if he would finally hang up his gloves after his defeat.In Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Lito Alagadmo, 40, said he was frustrated that at the end of 12 rounds, Horn was declared the new WBO welterweight world champion.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Some called for a rematch.Michael Esteban, 34, a cook, could not believe that Pacquiao lost the match in a unanimous decision by the three judges.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“As an avid fan of Manny, I could not really believe that he lost to Horn,” Esteban said. “I really thought that he would win the fight.”Esteban, who watched the bout via a live telecast at the canteen where he works, said he had expected Pacquiao to win because the Filipino boxing champion had more experienced and was better “several times over” Horn. Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Pacquaio supporters loudly cheered when the Filipino boxer appeared to have the upperhand, especially in the ninth and later rounds.But there was a silence when the winner was announced.In , the crowds that gathered at public venues had expected Pacquiao to defeat Horn. They were also hugely disappointed.At the Bacolod Arts and Youth Center in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, a crowd of about 5,000 had expected Pacquiao to be announced the winner. Hearing that Horn was the winner, the crowd quickly dispersed.Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, a close friend of Pacquiao, said: “I cannot believe Manny lost. I cannot understand why it was a unanimous decision. It was a close fight, which we thought was not supposed to be the case, but I still maintain that Manny won it.”“We must salute Manny for his humility when he said: ‘He deserves it’,” he said.“It was a close fight but I had Pacquiao ahead especially after last closing rounds,” Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez, said.Manuel Lamata, president of the United Sugar Producers’ Federation of the Philippines Inc., said: “I feel terribly bad.” /atm Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ TACLOBAN CITY — Stunned, shocked, frustrated.This was how Visayan fans reacted to the upset loss of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao to Australian boxer Jeff Horn.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next What ‘missteps’? There was a heavy downpour during the fourth round. Alagadmo and other fans looked for cover. Some fans, however, prefered to get soaked rather than to miss every single detail of the fight.The rain lasted for about 10 minutes. When it stopped, fans flocked to the area again.The Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) recorded a zero crime rate from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the fight.According to Senior Supt. Felipe Natividad, BPPO director, the police stations in Bohol had not received any reported incident in the last four hours while the fight was ongoing.In Iloilo City, boxing fans were also unconvinced that Horn defeated Pacquiao.“At the very least, it should have been a close score but not a unanimous decision and a wide margin (in favor of Horn),” Rommel Espinal said.Jossie Cillador, a resident of Pavia town in Iloilo, lamented that the match was bloody.“He [Horn] fought dirty because he kept on locking Pacquiao’s neck with his arm,” she said.She said the Filipino boxing champion should have knocked out Horn in the ninth round when the Australian boxer appeared wobbling “so that there would be no doubt who won the match.”Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (left) clinches with Jeff Horn of Australia during their WBO World Welterweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Jeff Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in a Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people. (Photo by TERTIUS PICKARD / AP)Many Ilonggos were glued to their television sets in homes and in restaurants which offered buffet lunch packages for guests who watched the match. View commentslast_img read more

Read More

Panasonic to move European headquarters out of UK

first_imgLONDON – Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has become the latest company to announce plans to move its European headquarters out of Britain ahead of Brexit.The company said in a statement Thursday that it plans to relocate from the U.K. to Amsterdam on Oct. 1 to “pursue improved efficiency and cost competitiveness while having easy access to the different markets within Europe.”The Nikkei Asian Review newspaper reported that the move aimed to avoid potential corporation tax issues linked to Britain’s exit from the European Union next year. Quoting Panasonic Europe’s CEO Laurent Abadie, the report said the move was also meant to help Panasonic avoid any barriers to the flow of people and goods after Brexit.In its statement, Panasonic said the move can enable more co-operation with its holding company for subsidiaries outside Japan, as well as the group’s financing arm, both already located in Amsterdam.It said the move would affect fewer than 10 employees.Other firms, including Airbus and Japanese banking giant Nomura Holdings, have revealed similar plans to move European bases out of Britain because of uncertainty over Brexit.last_img read more

Read More

Staples Canada transforms business model with coworking spaces cafes and more

first_imgTORONTO — Regular customers of certain Staples Canada Inc. locations may not recognize their local stores the next time they visit.The company is transforming its business model at two locations in Kirkland, Que. and Toronto to include a range of features including co-working spaces, a technology discovery zone and a “stadium-style” area that can be used for community events.It’s also dabbling in opening journal, pen and audio bars, offering new digital-based services including website design, rolling out a weekly speaker series and serving up coffee at an in-store cafe run by local coffee company Mos Mos.Staples chief executive officer David Boone said the concept stores are a product of the changing marketplace the retailer has faced as competitors Amazon, Walmart, Muji and Miniso have invaded Staples’ territory, driving down prices and increasing competition.Boone said Staples is dealing with the reality that its online business is growing faster than its retail footprint.“If you think about where our customers are going, they are embracing technology, they are embracing different ways of working and education is changing in Canada, so we are…adapting it to where our customers are going,” he said, noting that the company is also eyeing a new e-commerce experience.To shape the concept stores and features Staples is testing, the retailer consulted with thousands of businesses, educators, parents and students. They told Staples they wanted more inspiration and help, a community feel and a sense that things were “becoming easier” by shopping there, Boone said.The company settled on a range of features dedicated to the digital-savvy workforce and providing for entrepreneurs and those working in the gig economy.The journal, pen and audio bars will likely pop up at other Staples across the country, but the company will be more selective about the locations that receive its gathering and co-working spaces, Boone said.In recent years, co-working space business WeWork has aggressively expanded in Canada alongside similar companies targeted at women or millennials.Retail expert Brynn Winegard said how Staples’ co-working space will fare is hard to predict because those prone to using co-working spaces are just outside of the company’s core demographic.“A lot of the millennials, we call them ‘digital natives,’ never really wrote with pen and paper. They are more technology driven,” she said. “Some of the stationary components and non-digital products Staples has would attract a different demographic than the people using these working spaces.”She suspected this is why Staples is testing the offering at a few locations and not rolling it out on a wide scale just yet.She said the changes Staples is making are in-line with plenty of other big-box retailers that own many large stores and recognize that they can repurpose their spaces for other things to drive more traffic.“Those big centres have to be very profitable so you can justify keeping them,” she said. “There is the imperative and need for organizations to create a reason beyond shopping to go in the store.”Starbucks, she said, was among the first to clue into benefits of offering shoppers more than an opportunity to scoop up products. After it launched free WiFi, she said others followed suit. Then Holt Renfrew added a cafeteria, cafe and restaurant. Walmart, she said, has gotten into the action too, dabbling with optical, photo and dry-cleaning services.“People will say I am here to pick up my glasses prescriptions, I might as well pick up some stuff at the Walmart,” she said.“Very similarly at Staples, you can see this would be a very intelligent move if people say I am here for a meeting or to collaborate with my peers at this co-working space, so I might as well go pick up some dry erase markers.”Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Read More

BJP trying to create hypernationalistic environment

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has accused the BJP of trying to create a ‘hyper-nationalistic environment’ ahead of the Lok Sabha polls only to distract people from the issues of unemployment, agrarian crisis and what he called ‘massive failures’ of the Modi government.The comments by Gandhi come against the backdrop of indications that the BJP may use the Indian Air Force(IAF) strikes on terror group JeM’s largest training camp in Balakot in Pakistan on February 26 after the Pulwama attack as a central plank of its election campaign. A JeM suicide bomber attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 killing 40 jawans. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayDescribing the upcoming elections as all about making a choice between India of Mahatma Gandhi and that of his assassin Nathuram Godse, Rahul Gandhi also alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi generates ‘hate’ and that his brand of politics was ‘hateful’ with consequent costs. In Gandhi’s view, a majority for the Congress-led UPA coalition is a certainty and that his party will do much better than expected. Congress’ tally of 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls was an all-time low for the party.last_img read more

Read More

Trump US media in open war on annual dinner date

first_imgWashington: It’s meant to be the annual Washington love-in, a dinner where White House journalists and the president yuk it up in a hotel ballroom. But this Saturday, President Donald Trump stood up his dates. Members of the White House Correspondents’ Association, or WHCA, were decked out in bow ties and gowns at the downtown Washington Hilton. Trump, however, was 685 miles (1100 kilometers) away in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a rally with his baseball cap-wearing supporters. As usual, he devoted portions of his speech – like most of his speeches – to haranguing the “fake news media” or “enemy of the people.” “They are fakers,” he said of the media to a typically boisterous crowd. “I’ll tell you, you know what sucks? Their ratings suck because people don’t believe them.” Back in Washington, the WHCA’s president Olivier Knox told attendees he did not want to dwell on Trump – but called for a rejection of the president’s rhetoric. “Fake news and enemies of the people are not punchlines, pet names or presidential. And we should reject politically expedient assaults on the men and women whose hard work makes it possible to hold the powerful to account,” he said. Although there’s nothing obligatory about attending WHCA dinners, presidents have usually done so at some point during their time in office since the inaugural version in 1921. Ronald Reagan was the last absentee in 1981 and he had a decent excuse: being recently shot in an assassination attempt. Trump, however, has boycotted what he calls the “boring” and “negative” party for three years in a row – his entire presidency so far. The gala used to be a glamorous affair where hundreds of journalists, Hollywood celebrities and the president were entertained by a top-drawer comedian or other talent. Now the celebs have drained away and this year even the comedian was missing. A presidential historian, Ron Chernow, delivered the main speech instead, in which he criticised what he described as an “insidious” and “relentless campaign against the very credibility of the news media.” Acknowledging that his speech was a shift from traditional headliners at the dinner, Chernow said: “We need them (comedians) now more than ever, during this surreal interlude in American life.” Underlining the snub, Trump ordered staff, including chief press secretary Sarah Sanders – who appeared onstage in Wisconsin – to also refuse invitations. It’s the latest shot in what the president sees as his war against a media machine refusing to give him fair coverage. Trump’s main weapon is Twitter, which he uses daily to reach some 60 million followers. Millions more follow him on other platforms. The other main way of bypassing potentially critical outlets is his extraordinary relationship with Fox News, the Rupert Murdoch-owned network which has been criticised for coming to resemble state television. Even if many of its news journalists maintain their independence, some of the most prominent anchors and hosts show nothing but loyalty to Trump. They’re rewarded with exclusive access to administration officials and to the president himself. Meanwhile, other outlets are mostly kept at arm’s length. The press briefing room in the White House, which used to see nearly daily Q&A sessions under previous presidents, has been all but abandoned. Trump is unusually accessible, but mostly through often chaotic, informal gatherings, while Saturday marks the 48th day since Sanders held a full briefing. When they are not being ignored, White House journalists can expect to hear abuse. Trump’s rallies invariably include segments where he encourages the crowd to boo the reporters covering the event. For years, WHCA dinners were a chance to let the hair down in a notoriously serious town. Past performers include Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand. Since the 1980s, comedians have provided entertainment, making gentle and not-so-gentle fun, or “roasting,” the centerpiece of the dinner. Presidents were expected to give as good as they got. A standout moment was Obama’s riff in 2011, when one of his comic targets in the VIP-packed audience was none other than Donald Trump. Last year, though, the jokes fell flat with organisers. Featured comedian Michelle Wolf tore into Sanders and caused as much offense as laughter. Even the WHCA thought it had gone too far, calling her routine “not in the spirit” of the occasion. Wolf called the WHCA “cowards.”last_img read more

Read More